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- Self-employment and cancer
Self-employment and cancer
You may run your own company or work as a freelancer, contractor, farmer or entrepreneur. You may be working on your own or employ other people. A major concern when you are diagnosed with cancer may be how, and if, you can keep your business running.
Learn more about:
- Making a decision about working
- Managing your business
- Telling clients about the cancer
- Telling employees about the cancer
- Managing financial issues
Making a decision about working
Many self-employed people with cancer find ways to have treatment while running a business. Depending on the business, self-employment can give you control over your work schedule. You may be able to work around treatment sessions and set aside the time needed for recovery.
Any decisions you make will depend on your individual circumstances. The type of cancer, its impact on your day-to-day function, the proposed treatment and potential side effects are all factors to consider. If you rely on your income or if your business has been a major focus of your life, taking time off or permanently stopping work may be a major concern. Reading Coping with side effects may help you make a decision.
If you aren’t sure what to do, talk to family or friends or a professional financial adviser about your options.
These may include:
- checking existing insurance policies for entitlements, including any benefits payable through your superannuation
- claiming early entitlements from your super fund (make sure to get financial advice about how this will affect your retirement)
- talking to Centrelink about government benefits
- selling or scaling back your business.
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
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